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Stanislaus County reports fourth person to test positive for coronavirus; mayor makes statement – Modesto Bee

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A man who had traveled to an “area with widespread community transmission” became Stanislaus County’s fourth reported person to have tested positive for COVID-19, health officials said late Tuesday afternoon.

Specifics on his age, city of residence and his condition were not released in accordance with concerns over medical privacy.

The announcement from the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency came hours after San Joaquin County reported its total rise to 13 from eight.

In other developments Tuesday night:

— Modesto Mayor Ted Brandvold said the city has canceled or is recommending the cancellation of “all events of 10 or more people, especially over the age of 65. “We’re also encouraging residents and visitors to practice social distancing in order to steer clear of those who may be ill.” He’s also calling for a special teleconferencing meeting of the City Council to ratify the Proclamation of Local Emergency announced last Friday night.

“While cities, families, and individuals across the nation will ultimately handle this burden differently,” he said, “I am confident that Modesto will be able to withstand the tough decisions that will need to be made for the health of the community.”

— At an emergency board meeting, the Modesto Irrigation District voted to declare an emergency, giving staff the authority to implement several measures, including suspending power shutoffs for nonpayment. The district also is closing its lobby until further notice, allowing customers several options to pay online.

— Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he has placed the California National Guard on alert. The National Guard has been directed to be prepared to perform humanitarian missions across the state including food distribution, ensuring resiliency of supply lines, as well as supporting public safety as required.

The new COVID-19 case in Stanislaus County came a day after the announcement that a man contracted the virus from a person with confirmed COVID-19 in another county. The county declined to release any further information about the man, citing medical privacy.

The first two cases of COVID-19 in Stanislaus County were reported last week, also among adult men. One of the men was a passenger on the Grand Princess cruise to Mexico. County health officials still have not reported if they’ve identified where the other man contracted the virus.

Stanislaus County also released a statement on Tuesday night, saying there will be no communitywide shelter-and-place order.

On Wednesday, Rep. Josh Harder (D-Turlock) will be in Modesto to tour the Office of Emergency Services on Oakdale Road to meet with experts and learn more about the agency’s support during this crisis.

Also Wednesday, Richard Murdock, assistant director of the Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services, Sheriff Jeff Dirkse and Kristin Olsen, chairwoman of the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, and others will participate in a Facebook live discussion titled: “Conversation about COVID-19.” It starts Wednesday at 5 p.m. on the Stan Emergency Facebook page.

This story will be updated if further developments arise.

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Editor Brian Clark has worked at The Modesto Bee since 1990. He’s worked in various departments, including sports, news and on the digital side for a decade before being promoted to editor in 2018. He’s a native of Berkeley and a graduate of San Diego State University. Prior to The Bee, Brian worked at the Turlock Journal and Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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